Bentley’s Works team made their 2016 debut this past weekend in Misano, Italy. Bentley was there with two Continental GT3s as part of the Blancpain Sprint Series Cup.
The two event weekend started with a qualifying on Saturday. Bentley scored an strategic victory, sending the #8 Bentley Continental GT3 out on racing slicks while the other car, and the rest of the field, were on wets.
Driven by Andy Soucek and Maxime Soulet, the #8 dominated a race where the weather quickly turned favorable to their car’s tire selection. The duo took the win, securing the pole position for Sunday’s main race.
Unfortunately for Bentley Motorsport, with an hour remaining in the race, the #8 car was spun after getting hit from behind in what the team alleges was avoidable contact. Soucek was able to push back through the field but finished 11th.
The #7 car driven by Steven Kane and Vince Abril qualified 20th for Sunday’s race and finished in 17th. It was a disappointing outing for Abril, who is looking to defend his Sprint Series Cup Championship from last season.
“We struggled to match the qualifying pace, so we knew we had to rely on strategy to get a result in the races,” said Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush. “We took a gamble with tires with car number eight and it paid off. We would have liked to have come away with more points but, given the circumstances this weekend, I think we did the best job we could.”
The Blancpain Series continues at Monza next month for the seasons first endurance race. This weekend’s quartet will be joined Guy Smith in the #7 car and Wolfgang Reip in car #8.